Is your child a picky eater or are you a bad cook?

I’m serious. Think about it. I heard a discussion on NPR yesterday about managing picky eaters. They even had a new phrase to replace “picky eater” but I forget what it was. The conversation got me to thinking.

I was labeled a picky eater as a child. I was left to sit at the table with an unfinished plate before me. I don’t remember how long I was left there, but it felt like an eternity. I softly singing a song with my dog’s name in it to keep her nearby. Then I would feed unwanted scraps to her under the table.

BUT I am NOT a picky eater. I love and will eat almost anything- anything! My mother, however, was a terrible cook. She hated cooking and it showed. We had broiled meat, leseur petit peas from a can (which I loathe to this day), powdered mashed potatoes almost every night. I wasn’t a picky eater, I was a discriminating eater. To make matters worse, it was my job to scrub the broiler pan after the meal and it was never lined with foil or anything to make the job easier or more palatable.

The first time I baked cookies was at a friend’s house in fourth grade. It was an awakening, the smell of toll house cookies baking in the oven was something I still love. Who doesn’t.

At age thirteen or so I became a vegetarian (largely because I was sick and tired of broiled meat) and began to cook all my meals for myself. Suddenly no one thought I was a picky eater, even though I was a vegetarian. The food I prepared and ate was good. I still had to scrub the broiler pan though.

So I ask you, when you think your child is a picky eater, take a good look at yourself and what you are serving. Or offer them the opportunity to cook for themselves.

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